Three people are dead after a fire tore through a residential building in Longueuil Saturday morning.
Longueuil police spokesperson Ghislain Vallières said the fire broke out at around 1:15 a.m. in a three-storey residential building at the intersection of Toulouse and Plessis streets.
A total of 14 people from eight of the building’s 16 units were taken to hospital.
“Unfortunately, three of them, all members of the same family, died of their injuries,” Vallières said.
WATCH: 3 family members die in Longueuil fire
The victims include a man and a woman in their 40s, who formed a couple, and a woman in her 60s who was the mother of one of the deceased.
Vallières said the 11 others who were taken to hospital suffered various injuries, from smoke inhalation to burns and possible fractures from people jumping off balconies to escape the flames.
“At this stage, we do not fear for their lives,” he said.
Sebastien Lachance told Global News that when he arrived at his friend’s house across the street, people were screaming for help.
He saw a boy of around 10 jump from an upper-floor balcony and stayed with him after the fall.
While one resident is still unaccounted for, it is believed that the person was not at home when the fire broke out.
The others were safely evacuated from the building and were taken in by the Red Cross.
Vallières said they have either been relocated to nearby hotels or are staying with family members.
The cause of the blaze remains unknown.
“We haven’t been able to go inside the building yet,” Vallières told Global News just after 10:30 a.m., adding that a mechanical shovel was on site to help firefighters access remaining hot spots.
“We aren’t excluding any hypotheses,” Vallières said. “Is it criminal? is it accidental? We don’t know yet.”
—With files from the Canadian Press